Archives for June 2011

Animal Careers | VetClick (Review)

VetClick? if you live in the United States you might have missed this animal career website and so I thought I would take a few minutes to alert you to this resource that would be of use if you live (or want to live) in the United Kingdom and are seeking an animal job in the veterinary field.

The reason I think this resource is valuable to animal career job seekers is that those practices who post their jobs online, or who wish to view applicants, pay for the opportunity to do so. The site does not just specialize in job postings or seekers, it also sells products and provides a referral listing for veterinary practices.

What is a perk for those of you seeking an animal job in the UK is that you can post your CV (curriculum vitae) to the site at no charge. I also like that the site actually asks if veterinarians are registered with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons to work in the UK. VetClick also provides valuable downloads to helping you fine tune your application to reap the best results. If you are a veterinary technician or veterinary nurse you must explore the specific requirements necessary to work in the United Kingdom before applying as this site is specific to the United Kingdom.

Another area of interest on the site is the forum which currently has topics for pet owners, veterinary students, wildlife rehabilitation, and a public discussion area. Although I am not familiar with the names of those who moderate the specific areas of the forum, each section has a specialist assigned to address the questions. The Ask the Vet section is the most active and post histories go back to 2004.

For those not seeking a career, you can find a veterinary practice listing by plugging in the postal code or town. This is incentive to members and a good resource for pet owners who find yet another reason to use the site.

To achieve ranking, the site has a free listing resource page for websites related to animals, supplies, and other topics. That does not mean that the sites listed are necessarily the best but they are specific to the UK which is appropriate. Since I thought the topic was misplaced, I clicked into the Dating category and found dog walking and single pet owner listings. So, you might want to peruse the directory to see what pet or animal related businesses are thriving in the UK for other job or business ideas.

Another nice feature is that the veterinary practice listings by specialty. What surprised me was the number of homeopathic clinics. I am glad to see those growing steadily around different countries. Again, these listings are a free resource for ranking but also of use to readers of VetClick.

The final two areas of the site include the animal news feed and a calendar section. The news feed covers a variety of veterinary, conservation, and other animal news. The Calendar sections has replaced the mediation section and you can find veterinary medical continuing education programs along with a few other types of topics that might be of interest.

The final two areas of the site include the animal news feed and the mediation section. The news feed covers a variety of veterinary, conservation, and other animal news. I have no idea why the mediation section was included in this site as it is more appropriately placed into a legal website. However, perhaps it is a service provided to the membership–it doesn’t say.

Overall, I believe VetClick is a good resource for UK job seekers or UK veterinary practices that are seeking help. At the very least, check it out and let me know what you think.

Photo Credit: Christianny

Aggression A Dirty Little Secret?

dog aggression

Animal professionals take a calculated risk when they work with animals. Knowing you face the risk of an attack or death is a reality when it comes to working with wild animals but what about companion animals such as pet dogs?

The biggest risk, believe it or not, involves the dog owners who keep aggression a dirty little secret. I’ve been pretty fortunate in my career to have been able to avoid serious injury and incidents by paying attention to animal behavior and stacking the cards in my favor. However, the only times I’ve had close calls have been due to owner failing to disclosure the fact that his or her pet had aggressive tendencies.

In one situation, I was on a consult for a puppy. The owners had an older dog but never said anything about him being aggressive during our initial interview by phone, nor did they do so while I was on the premises. However, this dog lunged to attack me and I was fortunate to have my training bag to thwart the attack and use as a barrier.

Now, I’ve made my living working in animal behavior & training for a long time and so that is a strong skill set–but there are other pet professionals that work with pets and that don’t have that knowledge to be able to deal with behavior problems–especially when they take them by surprise.

Before I get into this a little more, I want to say to those of you who own a pet, you are responsible to disclose whether or not your animal is aggressive.

This means if the animal has growled, nipped, tried to bite, or has ever bitten anyone–you are required to inform anyone who is going to be around your animal that there is potential for trouble.

Failing to do so is a grave error that could cause injury, disability and even death. You are liable for the actions of your pet and it is your responsibility to make sure that you keep your pet safe and other living beings safe from your pet if he or she displays aggression.

This doesn’t mean a pet professional won’t work with you, but it does mean that he or she will know to take safety measures to mitigate potential problems and so will be prepared if something does happen.

For instance, not too long ago an animal jumped a pet pro from behind and managed to grab and drag the person by the scalp. As she tried to protect herself, the dog lunged at her face. Throwing up her limbs to defend herself–she was mauled. What she discovered later, the dog had attacked all members of the family.

Now, when I was helping one of my colleagues with his practice, I was mortified by some of the incidences that happened within households. There were two dogs that attacked a toddler and ripped his ear off.

When I asked another owner to disclose the last time their dog had bit someone, he put out his hand to show me puncture wounds that went through the hand–and said, “two weeks ago” but it was shocking to hear that bites were a regular event!

Over the years, with few exceptions, I’ve not had a problem with people withholding information from me. Part of this is because I have a questionnaire that inquiries about growling, nipping, biting and other related activities.

Plus, I also ask the pet owners directly AND in some cases, will also ask other pet professionals who work with the animal for their input.

When I’ve asked non-trainer pet professionals about this issue, many discover that a cat or dog is aggressive when they insist that pet owners sign off on the issue.

Honesty keeps others safe, and then an informed decision can be made as to whether or not the problem is manageable or not.

If you are a pet professional, take the time to ask the tough questions and to do some exploration with new clients.

Finally, don’t forget to ask if the animals behave differently when their humans are around or not. Since, as the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Okay, so now I want to know–have you failed to disclose something about your pet’s behavior because you were embarrassed, afraid or ???

If you are a pet pro–have you faced the unknown due to non-disclosure?

Please share your stories in the comments below. If comments are closed, take a moment to leave your note over on my Facebook community page.

Photo Credit: Lucas Vieira Moreira